Year 2006 Issue: 2

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UNIFIL Strengthened with international contingents with troops, armor & artillery

UN Forces in South Lebanon (UNIFIL) are being strengthened with new forces from European and Asian countries. The new forces are far better equipped, compared with previous UNIFIL detachments deployed to South Lebanon in the past three decades.

France is preparing a first armored unit, the 6th-12th Cuirassiers  Regiment to deploy to Lebanon with 13 Leclerc tanks, heavy artillery unit and two mechanized infantry companies, a total of 900 soldiers. The deployment is expected to begin September 15. According to brigade
commander, General Pierre de Villiers the Leclercs are expected to deploy with 155mm guns to defend against mobile missile teams known to exist in the area. A second battalion of 700 men is expected to arrive in Lebanon in the coming weeks, augmenting the first battalion and lead force of 400 soldiers already deployed.

The Italians have already deployed a first contingent of 1,000 soldiers. The Italian forces deployed with five navy ships, 132 wheeled vehicles, 16 tracked vehicles and 10 armored attack vehicles.

The Indonesian military is planning to purchase 32 armored vehicles from Renault, to support the planned peace-keeping operation in Lebanon. About a 1000 military personnel and their supporting equipment have been prepared for the dispatch to Lebanon while waiting for official decision from the United Nations on the time of departure, concept of operation, and the rule of engagement.

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